Law Enforcement Division Overview
Keeping the outlaws guessing and helping the honest people.
The Law Enforcement Division is responsible for the statewide enforcement of state and federal fish and wildlife laws, boating laws, and public lands regulations. These enforcement activities occur on private and publicly owned lands within the state. In addition to these primary law enforcement duties, KDWP officers also assist federal, state and local law enforcement agencies in a support role when requested. Their assistance is provided for warrant service and arrest of wanted fugitives, enforcement of controlled substance laws, and response to emergency management response. The Division also plays an active role in providing information and educational programs concerning hunter education, boating safety, and other natural resources related programs.
Because of the myriad of duties and responsibilities assigned to Natural Resource Officers it is necessary for them to keep abreast of the advances in forensic sciences, computer technology, emergency response, human behavior and public relations. This requires specialized training from approved sources. All Natural Resource Officers are required to attend 14 weeks of basic law enforcement training at the Kansas Law Enforcement Training Center. Newly hired officers are also provided extensive training relating directly to wildlife and boating law enforcement and department and divisional procedures. State mandated training standards require 40 hours of approved law enforcement related training annually to all certified officers. Training opportunities are also provided to increase knowledge and skills in a variety of areas outside the law enforcement arena.
Division enforcement operations are continually changing to meet the demands required by the public and resource. The use of selective enforcement efforts, focused to address specific problems are utilized in a variety of ways. Road-side check stations, watercraft safety inspection lanes, and boating-under-the-influence enforcement are a few of these operations. The Operation Game Thief program provides a toll free telephone system for the public to report wildlife violations. The division has implemented a K-9 program, utilized for detecting illegally taken wildlife, location of evidence, and tracking. This program is not only used for law enforcement activities, they provide a valuable resource in search and rescue operations.
The division oversees the issuance of several permits, including three types of physical disability permits, controlled shooting areas, and game breeders. Inspections are conducted on commercial wildlife facilities, bait shops, and controlled shooting areas.
Law Enforcement Division is staffed by 78 positions. Their work provides statewide natural resources and watercraft law enforcement services, information and education programs, and other services to address the needs of the Kansas’ public and natural resources. Staff positions include 57 Natural Resource Officers, 11 Lieutenants, 5 Captains, 1 Investigator, 2 Assistant Division Directors, 1 Senior Administrative Assistant and 1 Division Director. All positions, except the Senior Administrative Assistant, are certified law enforcement officers. The Division annually employs seasonal or temporary employees to assist in filling personnel needs. These temporary positions range from clerical workers to certified law enforcement officers.